New Skills

New Training: Understand YANG for Network Automation

by Team Nuggets
New Training: Automate Networks with the RESTCONF Protocol picture: A
Published on March 29, 2021

In this 6-video skill, CBT Nuggets trainer John McGovern deep-dives into the power of leveraging the NETCONF protocol for automated network configuration and change management. Watch this new networking training.

Watch the full course: Advanced Network Automation with Cisco and Python

This training includes:

  • 6 videos

  • 1.1 hours of training

You’ll learn these topics in this skill:

  • What is YANG?

  • YANG Suite

  • Pyang

  • Open Models

  • Vendor Models

  • Yanglint

YANG: A Brief Introduction

NETCONF was created as a hopeful replacement to SNMP for automating the configuration of networking equipment. SNMP is still the protocol of choice for monitoring things like routers, but it's largely been replaced for configuring equipment with CLI scripts. As such, NETCONF was created as an easy, universal tool to perform these tasks. YANG is the language that powers NETCONF.

YANG is a universal XML-based language. It's used for both data and configuration modeling. At the time of configuration, YANG is interpreted to another data structure, like JSON, that is then sent to the network hardware. In this way, YANG works kind of the same way Java would where it is converted from a higher-level structure to machine-specific code.

YANG doesn't come without complications, though. It attempts to abstract as much as the configuration complexities that it can away from various vendor-specific requirements, but those complexities can still exist. Some manufacturers, like Cisco and Juniper, are working towards creating a universal open-YANG model that could be supported between all vendors. Many vendors are now supporting that open model, but not all devices are supported yet. As such, IT admins will still need to understand the differences in configuration models between hardware to properly utilize YANG and NETCONF.

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